The Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) has reported that it reduced the cost of federal contracts in 2018 by over N26.86 billion after revising contract sums in various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) submitted by contractors.
The bureau, which disclosed this in its just published 2018 Annual Report, stated that in the year under review, 86 certificates of ‘No Objection’ were issued by it to MDAs for contracts initially awarded at N1.42 trillion which were later reduced to N1.39 trillion after the review.
The report indicated that N22.22 billion, representing the highest amount saved in the MDAs was in the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, following an initial request of N877.40 billion.
In the Ministry of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources’ contracts, the bureau reported a reduction in the sum of contracts from N278.91 billion to N278.64 billion.
Other analysis if the savings from public contracts on MDA by MDA basis showed that the BPP saved N1.37 billion on projects in the Ministry of Transportation from an initial request of N76.22 billion compared to the N521 million saved in the Ministry of Water Resources out of N13.12bn.
Similarly, the bureau also saved N143.72 million on projects from a request of N3.54 billion in the Ministry of Finance while it also saved about N33.65 million from the Central Bank of Nigeria’s initial request of N1.47 billion.
The report indicated further that the bureau saved about N494.96 million on various military contracts from an initial request of N123.82 billion for the procurement of equipment. This is even as it also saved about N8.04 million on an initial request of N9.23 billion on contracts under the supervision of the Ministry of Interior.
Other savings reported by the BPP on public contracts during the year include the sum of N104 million on initial request by the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria for the procurement of broadcast equipment for the 2019 general elections out of an initial request of N936.75 million.
However, it reported that savings were not made on contracts in the Federal Capital Territory Administration, Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.
The BPP noted with concern that procurement officers in the MDAs were alleged to be colluding with contractors to breach provisions of the BPP laws, adding that the pending cases being prosecuted by the EFCC and the ICPC are clear testimony of the breaches in the MDAs.
It stated further: “As observed in most cases, the procurement officers collude with the contractors and service providers to breach certain provisions of the BPP Act for their selfish reasons.
“These breaches range from faulty bid solicitation process, advance exposure of the bidding criteria to their preferred bidders and overlooking forged procurement statutory documents during technical and financial bid process”, the bureau added.
As a means of promoting transparency in the public procurement system, the bureau recommended the establishment of special courts to handle public procurement corruption cases.
By its mandate, the BPP was established to review contracts awarded by MDAs of the Federal Government before issuing a certificate of ‘No Objection’, which allows the establishments to execute the contracts awarded by them.